Before I left for Sydney four years ago I took part in the BUPA Great Manchester 10K run.

It was an exhilarating experience (if not a little (a lot) exhausting) but oh so rewarding at the same time! I ended up with a not too shabby time of 1 hour 3 minutes and raised over £300 for Ovarian Cancer Research.

So if like I was, you’re looking to run your first 10k race in 2013, you might be interested to know that places are still available for Britain’s leading 10K race, the Bupa Great Manchester Run on Sunday 26th May, with charity, The Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust.

Secure your place today by registering as one of Kelly’s runners at www.dkhlegacytrust.org/Bupa-Great-Manchester-10k and you could attend a master training session with Dame Kelly where she will provide expert running tips in the build-up to the run.

Your vital fundraising will help to support disadvantaged young people in and around Manchester. Launched January 2013, the DKH Legacy Trust’s  ‘Get on Track’ scheme, which is funded by Sport England, provides stepping stones for young people aged 16-25 years old who are currently not in employment to get into community sport, volunteering, training and employment.

The project’s participants will be mentored through a five stage sport and personal development programme by a team of Olympians and World Champions.

Throughout the three month intensive mentoring programme the young people will plan, develop and deliver volunteering projects working with community groups and local businesses, to benefit local people who need help. They will develop their confidence, self-esteem, and interpersonal skills, getting them fit for work and fit for life.

Dame Kelly Holmes, double Olympic champion, says: “Times are tough for young people across the UK, particularly stepping onto the employment ladder and every year my team and I are inspired by our dedicated fundraisers. Donations raised are so vital and I look forward to meeting our new team of runners for this year’s Manchester 10k.”

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As one of Kelly’s runners you’ll have access to a running mentor who can provide a full training guide, an online sponsorship account that you can personalise with photos and a training blog, fundraising support and a discussion forum to connect with your fellow runners.

Now recognised as one of the most prestigious races in the world, the Bupa Great Manchester Run is an event suitable for everyone from first time runners to high profile athletes.

The course will lead 40,000 runners through the vibrant Manchester city centre whilst the buzz of the crowd and the motivating live music from ‘bands on the run’ will help push participants every step of the way.

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To secure your place in the BUPA Great Manchester 10k with The Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust visit www.dkhlegacytrust.org/Bupa-Great-Manchester-10k

Kelly’s Training Tips to keep you focused and motivated

Setting a goal and staying focused on your goal

Get a clear realistic goal for yourself and make a plan to get you there. Think about what exactly you want to achieve. Then remind yourself every day about why you are going for a run , making sure you get enough sleep and eating the right food to give you energy to train. When things get tough and you feel you are losing motivation think about how you will feel when you achieve your goal.

Have a plan!

Follow a training plan that fits your lifestyle and give yourself enough time to prepare.

You’ll need to decide on the training plan for you.  To support people running to raise money of my charity we have produced some sample training plans and we have a running mentor.

Eating and Drinking

Replacing fluid lost during training or competition is crucial and becomes even more important in hot and humid conditions. If the fluid shortfall is too great, then it is likely that this will have a detrimental effect on performance. In order to restore fluids after exercise, it is necessary to drink more than the amount lost through sweat, as well as ensuring the electrolytes (particularly sodium) are replenished.

Pack your kit bag the day before.

“I have one very strict pre-race superstition – I always lay my kit out the night before a race. Every single thing has to be laid out! I have to have my shoes under my chair, my shorts, vest, everything has to be how I have it. No matter where I go in the world, I do the same and it never changes.”

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It’s vital to prepare the night before your race, not only for peace of mind but so you can be totally relaxed on the morning of your race. The Trust will be able to provide you with a fantastic race day checklist to make sure you are fully prepared.

Be consistent in your training and accept there will be good and bad days.

A successful race is the result of many training sessions- some will be good and some will be bad. As you progress through your training plan, remember not every run will be your best. I used to have tough running days. If you’re having a bad day, slow the pace, and get through it step by step. The training sessions that feel great will build your confidence, completing the “I feel rubbish why I am doing this” runs will develop your mental strength. Adding them all together will help you complete your goal race. It’s all part of the training process.

Read the Information from the race organisers!

Race organisers provide information to help you so make sure you read it and follow their instructions! They provide essential information such as what time is the race, where to park, the race map, where to collect your number etc.

Nerves on race day.

Enjoy your race! If you have done the training then just enjoy yourself! Nerves are always good to have before a race anyway, it means that your adrenalin is pumping and you are ready for ‘fight or flight’!

Keep a training diary

In my experience keeping a diary is vital. It helps motivate you by helping you analyse your running and discover what works best for you. The details included in your diary are very individual. Most people enter the date, place, distance, time and their feelings about the run.  Being able to refer back to my training dairy in the few weeks before Athens was essential as it helped me decide what training I needed to do to achieve my goal of becoming Olympic Champion.”

Join a local running group

Check out your local running groups in your area. There are always local runs organised by the likes of Run England, they cater for runners of all ages and abilities. Follow this link to see where your local running group is located – http://www.runengland.org/

Enjoy yourself!

Smile and look forward to achieving and reaching your goal!

You wont regret it, I know with my experience coupled with getting fit and raising money for a cause close to my heart, it was a great event to be involved with and one that I’ll always remember!

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